The Dining Room

The Dining Room
A. R. Gurney
Playing at Sonoma Arts Live, Sonoma, through Feb. 4, 2018.

The Dining Room-8
L-R: Kim Grimm, Jill Wagoner, Trevor Hoffmann, Isabelle Grimm, Rhonda Guaraglia, Len Handelman

A. R. Gurney is perhaps best known for his plays The Cocktail Hour and Pulitzer-nominated Love Letters, but The Dining Room deserves its own revered place in the canon of American plays. A fond tribute to vanishing traditions, Gurney’s work also reminds us of important values worth cherishing. The production by Sonoma Arts Live scores a win with its tender, amusing and charming rendition of the play.

The Dining Room unfolds in a series of 18 short scenes, their relationship to each other left to the viewer to decide. Resembling a collection of short stories, the play mines the minutiae of upper middle-class family life from early 20th century to (perhaps) the present. All action takes place in a single room, an upscale, traditional American dining room, anchored by a classic table with six chairs. Six actors—Isabelle Grimm, Kit Grimm, Rhonda Guaraglia, Len Handeland, Trevor Hoffmann, and Jill K. Wagoner—each play multiple roles to portray different ages and types…

To read more about this production, please continue to my Talkin’ review:   The Dining Room